Puerto Rico's Shaky Economy Causes Mass Exodus

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Sad news from Puerto Rico.

According to the Huffington Post, the Caribbean island’s sinking economy has Puerto Ricans leaving the country in vast numbers. In 2011 alone, nearly 54,000 people, or 1.5 percent of the population, opted to leave the territory. 

As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans have the option of moving to the mainland without restrictions. Many young and well-educated islanders are now choosing to make the move in pursuit of better jobs and wages in the United States. 

Unfortunately, the mass migration is furthering the economic crisis the island now faces. Economists estimate that the migrations have reduced Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product by $3 billion in the last decade. Combined with an unemployment rate of 13.5%, a $1.2 billion deficit, and rising crime rates, the island is struggling to keep young professionals from leaving the territory. 

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About this author

Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

Cristina Mari Arreola is the Associate Editor. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to New York City. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or frantically reading a novel from her (extremely lengthy) reading list. See what she's reading now on Goodreads, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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